Bird Walks & Field Trips

Bird Walks

First-of-Month Bird Walks

Bird Walks are meant to be a casual, local morning of birding. They are a great time to enjoy birds with others, find new areas to visit, and/or work on bird identification by sight and sound or to practice your eBird app with help when needed. These walks are usually easy to join or depart at any time during the morning, no commitment to participate in the entire walk if you have limited time. Please, only fully vaccinated participants at this time.

February 1st bird walk:  Klineline Pond and east Salmon Cr. Greenway
Meeting time: 8 am
Meeting location: Salmon Creek Greenway (softball field parking)

We will start at the softball field parking lot to head via the paved trail to Klineline pond, then circle around to the gravel/dirt trail along the north end of the greenway to loop back to the paved trail and check the other pond, birding along the way. The ponds usually offer great viewing of various waterfowl and we will walk through some great bird habitat along the way.

Contact Cindy at to with any questions or sign up for a walk.

March 1st bird walk:  Vancouver Lake Regional Park
Meeting time: 8 am
Meeting location: Vancouver Lake Regional Park, near main (center) restroom

We will check the lake and flocks in the main park then head to do a portion of the north trail to enjoy the birds in the cottonwood forest. We will head back to check on the birds using Buckmire Slough and return along the road and/or the grass trail. There should be a good mix of passerines, waterbirds, and raptors!

Saturday, Feb 4–Young Birders’ Club Bird Walk

Leader: Cindy McCormack
Meeting time: 8:00am
Meeting location: Klineline Pond parking

Chickadees, Eagles, and Ducks, Oh My!
Vancouver Audubon’s Young Birder’s Club is hosting a bird walk led by expert birder Cindy McCormack. Join us on Saturday, February 4th at 8 a.m. to meet some incredible birds! We’ll walk around, learn about and see the local avifauna, and meet with fellow birders. Open to anyone 10-18 years old plus parent/guardian. Feel free to reach out to  with any questions. We will have binoculars and spotting scopes to share.

Adverse winter weather may cause cancellation, registrants should check their email and/or texts the evening before for updates.

Field Trips

Please review the current VAS Guidelines and Waiver before registering for a trip.

Northern Harrier

Cowlitz County Smelt Run Birding

Tuesday, Feb 7 and Thursday Feb 16, 2023
Leader: Randy Hill and others
Departure time: 7:30am
Meeting location:  Ridgefield Park and Ride
Register: email or call/text 360-975-2573

From past experience, this is pretty much guesswork; but I do have a fallback plan! The winter smelt runs up the Columbia River and tributaries (among others the Cowlitz, Coweeman, Kalama, Lewis) attract their predators, and we can watch the action. Ten+ gull species have been seen over the last several years during peak runs, and other unusual species were seen during the last month including Brandt’s Cormorant on the Portland and Cowlitz-Columbia CBCs. Our dates are Tuesday 2/7 and Thursday 2/16. We will leave from the Ridgefield Park and Ride at 07:30. I hope to recruit co-leaders that are better at gull ID than I am. If the smelt and the gulls aren’t cooperating our birding could include areas of Woodland, Kalama, Meeker Pond, Gerhart Garden Park, the Mint Farm, Willow Grove, and the Longview WTP.

Join the WOS Weekend Trip

February 24-26, 2023
Leader: Randy Hill, Russ Koppendrayer, Cindy McCormack
Departure time: 7:30am
Meeting location:
Salmon Creek Park and Ride
Register: email or call/text 360-975-2573

Washington Ornithological Society has a scheduled 3-day weekend of birding near the end of February, and VAS members will have an opportunity to participate by filling any remaining slots not filled by WOS members.  The original posting in early November follows: Join Randy Hill and other co-leaders to explore the diversity of Clark County in the transition from late winter to early spring.  This trip will concentrate on finding resident, wintering and maybe early-arriving Vancouver area specialties.   Target species include Lesser Goldfinch, Red-shouldered Hawk, diving ducks and other waterfowl, loons, grebes and possibly owls.

We will meet at the I-5 Salmon Creek Park-and-Ride off NE 134th St at 7:30 AM and explore areas that could include Ridgefield NWR, Vancouver Lake and lowlands and portions of the Columbia River.  Depending on conditions, a Sunday morning trip along the Vancouver waterfront that may reach as far upstream as Steigerwald Lake NWR or an upland forest trip might be added.  A Friday afternoon exploration of the Woodland Bottoms also will be scheduled.

For more information and to sign up, contact Randy Hill by email at, or at 360-975-2573 (text preferred.)

Russ Koppendrayer will co-lead the Friday trip to Woodland Bottoms.  Cindy McCormack and possibly others will co-lead Saturday/Sunday.  We will utilize a wait-list and begin filling unused spaces beginning February 19.  The Woodland Bottoms route on Friday 2/24 will begin at noon and go until 4-4:30 pm.  The primary day is Saturday 2/25 and will concentrate on Ridgefield NWR south to the Vancouver Lowlands; that date likely will have the fewest available open spaces, and I will need to leave the group shortly after 4pm.  Sunday morning 2/26 will meet at 7am (location to be determined) and finish areas west of I-5, look at Fort Vancouver, the Vancouver Waterfront to Marine Park and could possibly continue as far upstream as Steigerwald Lake, ending during the noon hour. 

VAS Field Trip Guidelines

VAS Field Trip Waiver

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